Cities Make Plans for Race Equality Week

Article excerpt

From Riverside, Calif., to St. Petersburg, Fla., cities across the country are planning activities to participate in the Sixth-Annual Race Equality Week, September 26-30. The week's activities include a Race Equality Week Forum, to be held in Washington, D.C.

Efforts taking place in cities include forums and special gatherings, community engagement initiatives and the issuing of proclamations.

The National League of Cities-sponsored Race Equality Week grew out of an effort launched in 2000 by then-NLC President Bob Knight, former mayor of Wichita, Kan., who challenged city leaders to focus on improving race relations in their communities.

Each NLC President since that time has continued the agenda and continued to urge city leaders to do their part to improve race relations and achieve racial justice.

Race Equality Week Forum

The Sixth-Annual Race Equality Week will include a special Race Equality Forum in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, September 29, to explore ways to move the race relations and racial justice work forward.

An invited group of city leaders and national stakeholders will focus on engaging key groups in a shared agenda and identifying specific opportunities for collaboration to improve race relations.

The forum will be chaired by NLC First Vice President James Hunt, councilmember, Clarksburg, W.Va. NLC President and Anthony A. Williams, mayor of Washington, D.C., and Knight will also participate.

Efforts in Cities

During Race Equality Week, NLC encourages cities to take part in different activities throughout the week that promote diversity and raise the awareness of racial equality amongs residents in communities.

"The City of Avondale, Arizona prides itself as being a diverse community. However, promoting racial equality and ending racism require continued commitment, awareness, and action," said Avondale Mayor Ron Drake, who will sign a proclamation designating September 26-30 as Race Equality Week in Avondale.

Race Equality Week Events in Avondale include: "One World, One People," a cultural display at the Avondale Public Library; "Romantic Mexico--Image and Reality" an evening with author Boye Lafayette Demente; and A Discovery Channel Video Presentation--"Understanding Race."

Riverside's Human Relations Commission is presenting "Horizon Line," which is aimed at encouraging youth to talk about race and violence issues. The Riverside commission is also implementing a program called "Access Riverside" that will deal specifically with investigating and resolving discrimination complaints. …